Saturday, May 28, 2022

Lagos nurses declare three-day warning strike

The group said “a poorly-resourced health care system” was pushing nurses to relocate abroad.

• January 7, 2022
Photo of Nurses used to illustrate the story

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) will January 10 commence a three-day warning strike.

Speaking during a press conference on Friday, the chairperson for NANNM Lagos Council, Olurotimi Awojide, lamented the poor health care system in the state.

“Nurses will no longer bear the burden of a poorly-resourced health care system,” Mr Awojide said, urging the public to see the strike as a fight for a better healthcare system.

“All the requests we have made from the state government are to ensure that more nurses are not driven into the frustration that can lead them to leave the service,’’ he said.

Stating that the association’s state executive council meeting, held December 29, 2021, Mr Awojide said the numerous challenges of nurses and all unresolved issues were tabled before the government.

He, however, lamented that despite engagements, the government has yet to respond to the association’s challenges.

“In our estimation, the state government has yet to fully come to terms with how incredibly challenging the situation in the health sector has been for our members, especially since 2020,’’ he said.

Mr Awojide noted that the association’s requests to the state government included: resolving the shortage of nurses and midwives and retention of incentives to arrest the turnover rate.

Others, he said, were proper consolidation of CONHESS Salary Structure and improved working conditions.

Mr Awojide stressed that the continued attrition of nurses to foreign countries had led to an acute shortage in the staffing of health facilities.

According to him, 496 nurses left the service of the State Health Service Commission from 2019 to 2021, with less than 15 per cent arising from statutory retirement.

“For context, the commission has only about 2,350 nurses.

“More than 200 nurses left the service of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital within the same period.

“Over 80 have left the Primary Healthcare Board from 2020 till date, thus leaving the healthcare with 700 nurses and midwives,’’ he said.

(NAN)

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